DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 5, 2023) – AMA Pro Racing offers its condolences to the family and friends of Peter Starr, who died Monday, July 3, following a long battle with cancer at the age of 80. Starr was a pioneer across film, television, and motorcycling who played a central role in bringing motorcycle racing to the masses.
Originally, hailing from the United Kingdom, Starr moved to the United States in the ‘60s where he pursued a career as a DJ, record producer, and eventually filmmaker. It was through the last of these in which he started down the path that saw him become one of motorcycling’s most influential and beloved ambassadors.
Starr first spread the gospel of two wheels on a large scale via his documentary filmmaking, most notably the award-winning documentary, “Take it to the Limit,” which provided viewers a glimpse into the lives of some of the world’s greatest motorcycle racers, including Grand National Champions Kenny Roberts, Jay Springsteen, Ricky Graham, and Bubba Shobert.
Starr was also an innovating force in motorcycle racing television production, introducing and developing some of the techniques still used today to effectively communicate the speed, grace, and excitement of the sport. He was the first to mount a film camera on a racebike during the 1980 AMA National from Laguna Seca, and later the first to produce live video from a motorcycle during a race at the 1985 DuQuoin Mile.
He also spearheaded the creation of the Stroh’s Mile National Dirt Track Championship, which aired on TNN and USA Network in 1985 and 1986. This served as a “series inside a series” as part of the larger Progressive American Flat Track championship. It utilized the Grand National Championship’s Miles as the basis for a televised series that paid its own points and bonus money with support from the national advertising partner that Starr attracted in Stroh’s Brewery.
Starr created, produced, and/or hosted dozens of other motorcycle related programs over the decades, including the first national motorcycle TV show, “The Peter Starr Motorcycle Show,” which aired on TNN in the early ‘80s. He was also a racer and stunt performer himself, whose work was featured in a number of Hollywood hit movies.
Starr never stopped breaking new ground, creating the MotoStarr podcast and YouTube Channel, in which he interviewed a number of motorcycle racing titans, in recent years.
He was inducted into the Trailblazers Hall of Fame in 2011 and the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2017.
Starr is survived by his sister, Lynn Greer, and his nephews, Stuart and Richard Greer.